Although I have heard negative things about large shift reductions and drag racing, it's really not THAT hard to switch these out. I still have my stocker (bought my SRT Maddog used), so switching it out isn't an issue. I'd just leave the center console off until after racing....
Reduction has nothing to do with it, really - it's how you shift. You can tear a trans up with an OEM shifter, Maddog STS, Mopar STS, Hurst, TWM, Ralco, B&M, etc, etc. If you shift hard (aka slammin' gears), you will wear your trans out or break something way sooner than "normal" shifting.
One thing about the OEM, Mopar, and Maddog is that they all follow the OEM shift pattern/route. The Hurst does not, unless you add that kit to a Mopar STS. Put the Hurst kit (or any replacement aftermarket rod) on an OEM shifter, and you'll have a non-symmetrical shift pattern. Probably won't hurt anything, but it would seem to be somewhat awkward, imo.